India’s selectors left out opening batsman Virender Sehwag from a 30-man preliminary squad for the ICC Champions Trophy in England in June.
Seasoned off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and veteran seamer Zaheer Khan were also missing from the list, which has to be shortened to 15 players a month before the tournament opens on June 5.
Sehwag’s 219 against the West Indies in December 2011 is the highest individual score in One-Day Internationals (ODI) and he is only the second batsman to score a double-century in the shorter format after compatriot Sachin Tendulkar. But he was dropped due to recent poor form.
The 34-year-old, who has scored 8,273 runs in 251 ODIs with 15 centuries, was also left out of the last two Tests in the recent series against Australia, which India won 4-0.
Harbhajan, 32, last played an ODI two years ago in the West Indies, while Zaheer, 34, missed the entire Australian series due to a calf injury.
Uncapped off-spinner Parvez Rasool, 24, was included in the squad, making him the first cricketer from Jammu and Kashmir to join the senior ranks.
India are drawn with South Africa, Pakistan and the West Indies in Group B of the Champions Trophy, from which the top two will qualify for the semi-finals.
The other group comprises England, Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 7th, 2013.